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Visit to Cambridge University

Cambridge Trip Report – Zoe McBrown

Last Friday, the second of February, at the early hour of seven o’clock, fourteen year 10 students and two teachers (Mr Dudgeon and Ms Young) set off on a two-and-a-half-hour journey to Cambridge to catch a glimpse of a possible future path – Cambridge University.

The first stop was Churchill College. Churchill College is one of the more modern branches in Cambridge and was funded and supported by Winston Churchill. Once there, we were given a presentation about the university itself. We discussed: why it’s a good idea to go to university, the statistics of those who go to university compared to those who don’t, the unique methods of teaching at Cambridge, and information about the subjects you should and shouldn’t take to get the job or career you want. There is a unique method of teaching that only Oxford and Cambridge share called ‘supervision’. At Cambridge, you get classroom-based lectures as well as supervisions. Supervisions are private teaching sessions between one student and one teacher (or two students and one teacher).

Once the presentation was finished, we were given a tour of Churchill College by a current student. We had a look at the accommodation, the various libraries and the activities available, as well as the dining hall, where we had lunch.

After lunch, we set off to another Cambridge college on foot – Trinity College. Trinity College is one of the older colleges and was home to pioneering figures such as Sir Isaac Newton as well as it being the location of a descendent of the famous apple tree that inspired his theory of gravity (there is even a statue of him in the chapel). Outside the college we saw a statue of Henry VIII engraved into the beautiful archway. We heard a story about that statue in which many years ago, a couple of students climbed the archway and replaced the sceptre in his right hand with a chair leg which is still there to this day. After that, we were given a tour to see the beautiful old-style halls and church. We also had a view of the accommodation, which was very different to Churchill College’s lodgings. Some of the accommodation in Trinity is old while other parts are more modern, which makes for an interesting contrast.

Next, we had a look at the very impressive grounds, where the river has punts. The colleges on the outskirts of Cambridge are far away from each other, however the colleges in the heart of Cambridge are so close that you can see several from the grounds of Trinity College.

Once done, we took a photo with King’s College in the background and walked all the way back to Churchill College to take the minibus all the way back to Chailey.

The day was tiring, but informative. We all felt that we had learnt a lot from the trip, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. It gave us a look into something that we could go on to do when we are older and gave us hints into how to get there, such as subjects to take, the way universities work and life at university. One student said on the topic of the trip: “The day was fantastic. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to think about my career in terms of universities.” It was a convincing and enlightening trip that gave us all a clearer view of what we wanted to do in later life.  

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